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Old 05-21-2003, 04:56 PM   #1
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Unhappy Xenia

Hi ... sorry if I am putting this in the wrong place. We got a Xenia with about 7 "branches" a week ago and it does not look happy. It took it a few days for the little "hands" to open and close at all. Now five of the branches' hands are opening and closing (although not as quickly as the ones we saw in the store tanks) but two of the branches look sick or damaged.
I am afraid it is the fault of a copperbanded Butterfly that we got at the same time. I know they may nip at coral but we got him to eat some anemone things that are growing like weeds all over the tank. He will eat mysid shrimp so we were hoping he would leave coral alone. I think he is eating the bad things but now I am worried he is also doing naughty things to the Xenia. I never see him up messing with the Xenia but still ... it seems like it is too much of a coincidence.
Maybe the Xenia is just sick or something .. the hands are all bent over and one of the branches looks shriveled up. Could that kind of damage/problem be the butterfly fish or maybe it just needs more time in the tank??? Any ideas would be helpful. Our nearest aquarium shop is 45 minutes away and besides .. we have banned ourselves from there for 3 months because we spend too much money when we go in! (where can we buy cheaper food ... like phytoplankton etc .....???)
ANyway ... thanks
Carla
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Old 05-21-2003, 06:01 PM   #2
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The copperband can cause a problem but it sounds to me like it may be something else. Can you post your tank parameters?(size, filtration, lighting, inhabitants, water test results etc.)

Brian
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Old 05-21-2003, 06:42 PM   #3
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I agree with BrianH.


Lighting and water chemistry are two very important things to Xenia.
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Old 05-21-2003, 07:12 PM   #4
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Many people use xenia as a barometer, if it looks like crap...it's time for a waterchange. Xenia is particularly sensitive to ph and alk shifts.
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Old 05-23-2003, 10:03 PM   #5
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Hi again ... ok .. tank parameters are:
65 gallon, with a 35 gallon bottom bio filter (sump thing ... my husband deals with all the mechanics), a ton of live rock, and a protein skimmer. We were told it was a real good combination filter system and all our water tests have come back very good except we are struggling with the KH .. its always slightly low. But everything else is good chemically .. or so the water tests show. WE have the test done at the aquarium shop and only test salt and KH here. We have had the tank set up for almost 4 months. WE have 3 white and one blue VHO lights. WE got the first fish about 2 months ago (2 clowns) .. now we have 6 small fish (2 clowns, a sixline wrasse, a purple fire fish, a lawnmower blenny, and the butterfly fish). As far as corals go .. we have a few mushrooms .. a frogspawn, a suncoral and we just got the Xenia and a combo star polyp and something similar to a Xenia (but it doesn't open and close). Everything else is doing fine. The frogspawn looks great. We were told Xenia have a hard time with transport .. and we live 45 minutes away ... could that be a factor? Since I posted the first note it has gotten much worse .. it definetely looks like its on its last legs and does not look like the butterfly fish is to blame. We are wondering if we should take it out of the tank .. or what's left of it, or wait and see if atleast some of the branches survive.
Oh ... it is placed near the top of the tank .. not the very top but pretty close and it is in an area of fairly strong current.
Thanks again for any ideas
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Old 05-23-2003, 10:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
struggling with the KH .. its always slightly low.
This could be causing the PH to dip pretty low after the lights shut off.

Quote:
But everything else is good chemically .. or so the water tests show.
Please tell us exactly what the water tests show. OK...is such a subjective term, what might be OK for most of your tank may be detrimental to others.

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a sixline wrasse
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and the butterfly fish
I had a sixline that was very fond of eating xenia polyps, and depending on what type of butterfly fish...any coral is going to look like a happy meal. The vast majority of butterflys are coral eaters.

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We were told Xenia have a hard time with transport .. and we live 45 minutes away ... could that be a factor?
At only 45 minutes, it is doubtful.

Quote:
We are wondering if we should take it out of the tank .. or what's left of it, or wait and see if atleast some of the branches survive.
If it doesn't look like it's melting...there is a chance for a complete recovery.

IMO, it is most likely a ph problem or the fish are picking on it.
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Old 05-23-2003, 11:49 PM   #7
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I have xenia under mh lights, when I moved some to a tank with PC lighting, they did what you are talking about. The guy at the LFS said Xenia does not do well in his tanks and he has VHO lighting...could be the lighting
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Old 05-25-2003, 03:13 AM   #8
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Hope it's not too late...

I agree with Reefrunner. I wouldn't take it out of the tank. A little bit of dying xenia won't affect anything and it's AMAZING what can grow back out of a tiny little smudge of tissue. And 45 min. is certainly NOT an issue. Changing parameters can be, however. Especially pH. Xenia can definitely thrive and multiply under all kinds of lighting, so your VHO's are great, although I have found 6500K Halides to be ideal.

At this point, I would just leave whatever is left where you have it. In high current, and near the light. I would also be sure to keep tabs on your pH...most xenia would actually prefer up around 8.4-8.5 (although I grow most of mine in a large heavily stocked coral system that I have to fight just to keep above 8.0). But if you moved it into a lower pH than it had been in at the store, could likely be the culprit. But like I said, leave it in there. I've seen xenia crop up where it had died off weeks earlier even when I haven't noticed any remains. Best of luck.
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Old 06-08-2003, 03:25 PM   #9
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My two cents - Check the PH at night... to determine the contrast...then start to use buffer to get the PH where it needs to be... around 8.4/8.5 ....

Also... what wattage are your lights?
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Old 06-09-2003, 08:43 PM   #10
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For what it is worth, I posted here last week, having the same problem with my new Xenia they seemed dead and was told that it was due to the PH and lighting. I moved them a little down and away from my 2 -175W MH lights and did a 40% water change to fix the PH. It raised my PH which is now at 8.3. WOW, what a difference in the activity that has happened, they both seem like totally new frags.
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